Helping My Russian-Speaking Students

Hi Fellow Teachers,

I’m teaching web development at a small college in the US. Since the course has no prerequisites, the class is a mix of computer science students along with others who are not CS majors but want to learn web development.

For these non-CS students, they are quite challenged with my introduction to GitHub. At the same time, my CS students are speeding through the assignment and then getting bored.

Having a mix of experience and skills is nothing new but additionally I have two older students who are primarily Russian speaking. I loved learning some Russian twenty years ago but my own abilities have seriously deteriorated. There is no way I can effectively communicate in the language.

So I’m here asking if I can get advice on how to help my Russian-speaking students learn both about GitHub specifically and web development in general.

Are there online resources I can share with them?


Dear @cynthiateeters,

can you please clarify why you think your students need help? Not to be a bad guy, but your first paragraph states that non-CS students are getting challenged (which has nothing to do with the nationality), where’s your second specifically talks about 2 students who happen to be Russian. As a Russian, there is nothing special about it :slight_smile: Are they happen to be non-CS majors as well? Do you think they have problems because they don’t speak/understand English very well? (in the latter, my advice will be to do the same thing as you would do for any other international student who struggles with English) Did they get their CS education in Russia a while ago or somewhere else? (in the former case, they have most likely never seen version control as I know from my own CS Russian education, but that alone should not make them more or less susceptible to the topic).

Some back story: I learned Git and Github on my own from online resources which were all in English, any resources that you think are good for other students will be good for your Russian students as well.

This of course is representing my own personal view and all opinions are my own.

Hi @cynthiateeters,

We are an open source, free NFP educational community in Ukraine. We do things pretty similar to what you’ve described helping non-tech people to gain certain proficiency in SW development. Beside the technologies like JavaScript we also teach git and to certain extent GitHub.

Please, take a look at as at a source of inspiration and feel free taking anything away for your use.

The majority of materials is in English as we make to-be-developers aware that they will have to communicate mainly in English when in commercial projects (yes, even if within Ukraine as the most of the customers are based in North America and Europe), however some supplementary materials are available in Russian and videos also offer subtitles that can make non-English speaking student’s life easier.

The feedback from the students is quite inspiring so far :slight_smile:

If you feel I can be of any help for you, please, do not hesitate asking.

By the way, Belen Barros Pena shares her personal experience when she, a designer learned git. She spoke today on Git Merge conference on this very topic, you will find her presentation here and hopefully it also gives you some ideas on how to manage teaching git to not very techy people.